UAE. Daman Investments, the Dubai-based investment management company, sold a 22.7% stake through a private placement which values the firm at AED440 million (US$119.8 million) and said it eventually plans to offer shares to the public.
Daman, which is active in asset management, raised AED100 million from the sale, by offering 588,235 new shares at AED170 each, the company said in a statement Sunday. No details were given on who bought into the offering.
The sale was part of the firm's strategy to broaden its shareholder base before an eventual initial public offering in the United Arab Emirates.
"The accomplishment of a successful IPO to be listed on one of the markets in the UAE is the clear and focused objective of Daman's medium-term strategy," Shehab Gargash, chief executive of Daman Investments, said.
In 2009, Daman said it had attracted a strategic investor who committed to invest AED100 million in the company, and was moving ahead to secure additional equity investment of about AED200 million.
But that fundraising valued Daman at about AED850 million, nearly double the current valuation, signaling the extent to which investment firms in the UAE have suffered post the global financial crisis.
Dubai's benchmark index has fallen 76.9% since its 2008 peak, while Abu Dhabi's exchange has dropped 51.9% in the same time frame.
IPO activity in the UAE has also been scarce since the global financial crisis, with market volatility and a reluctance among retail investors, burnt by the collapse in stock prices from their pre-crisis peak, being cited as the main the reasons for the lack of new public offerings.
The last listing on the Dubai benchmark was Drake & Scull DSI.DU in March 2009, while the Abu Dhabi index has only seen a couple of minor sales since 2008 - the largest being Eshraq Properties' 55% offering in May 2011, which raised AED825 million.